Headquartered in Chicago, BTN is the first internationally distributed television network dedicated to covering one of America’s premier collegiate conferences.
With more than 350 live sports events, and virtually all of them in high definition, BTN is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country. The network is on the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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Where to Find Us
The network is available to an estimated 80 million households, through agreements with more than 300 cable, satellite and telco affiliates in all 50 states and Canada. That includes existing distribution agreements with each of the nation’s 10 largest cable, satellite and telco providers (Comcast, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS, Bright House Networks and AT&T U-Verse).
Customers of DIRECTV and DISH Network have access to the network regardless of where they live, while Verizon and AT&T continue to roll out their FiOS and U-Verse services across the country. The network is available on cable in 19 of the nation’s 20 largest media markets, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston and many more. To get the channel number specific to your area and provider, visit www.BTN.com/channelfinder.
Cable subscribers inside the Big Ten states receive the network on either an expanded basic or digital basic level of service. Outside the Big Ten states, cable operators that carry the network make it available on a variety of packages.
BTN is on the air 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. The network annually televises more than 350 live events and streams an additional 400+ events. Each year’s schedule is comprised of approximately 40 football games, 105 regular season men’s basketball games, Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament games, 55 women’s basketball games, Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament games, hundreds of additional Olympic sports events and dozens of Big Ten championship events.
Every BTN football game telecast is surrounded by Big Ten Football Saturday, the network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game show hosted by Dave Revsine and analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith.
In addition to live events, the network also airs coaches’ shows and classic games. Each campus also has the opportunity to produce original, campus programming highlighting various aspects of campus life and the qualities that make each university unique.
Some of BTN’s streamed events are also televised on delay as part of the network’s Student U initiative. Big Ten students on each campus produce and announce these events, offering a unique opportunity to gain real-world television experience.
Why the Network Was Created
BTN was created to provide the conference with more national exposure for Big Ten sports while enhancing its existing television agreements with its other television partners.
The conference wanted to control more fully the advertising environment in which its events were aired (the network accepts no alcohol or gambling advertising), dramatically increase exposure for women’s sports and other NCAA sports that had not previously been widely televised and improve distribution for football and men’s basketball games that were previously available only on a local or regional basis.
Considered to be one of the most successful launches in cable television history, BTN became the first network in cable or satellite television history to reach 30 million subscribers within its first 30 days on the air. BTN is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks.
The network has provided an additional revenue source at a time of continued decreases in state support. The network has also provided significant and additional exposure for all Big Ten men’s and women’s sports, some of which previously received little or no television exposure. It also helps with recruiting in all sports as the ability for parents to watch their children compete from anywhere across the country is a major selling point.
Committed to Women’s Sports
No other network devotes itself to women’s sports as much as BTN. The network schedule annually features more than 200 women’s events, in the sports of basketball, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball. The network is the television home for at least 55 women’s basketball games each year, including 10 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament games and a full studio presence at the tournament. Each week during the academic year, the network produces and airs the Big Ten Women’s Sports Report, a program dedicated exclusively to the highlights and accomplishments of female Big Ten student-athletes.
Career Experience: Streaming and Student U
Above and beyond the network’s 350 televised events, the network streamed more than 400 events in 2010-11. These games are available live and on-demand on BTN’s website. Many of these streamed events are “Student U” events. Shot, produced and announced entirely by Big Ten students, the network’s Student U initiative gives students on every Big Ten campus a chance to gain hands-on experience in the highly-competitive career field television production. After the program’s two years, the network “graduated” a number of students into full-scale, professional BTN productions or full-time employment in the Chicago headquarters, giving launch to their own television careers.